Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Camosun students bring home medals from national competition

July 13, 2016 by Pascale Archibald, Student Editor

Several Camosun College students recently returned from Moncton, New Brunswick with medals they won at the 2016 Skills Canada National Competition.

Every year, trades and technology students compete in over 40 skilled trade and technology categories in regional, provincial, national, and international levels at Skills Canada competitions. Skills Canada then creates a national team from finalists at the national level.

In the Carpentry category at the national competition in Moncton, Camosun’s Jake Schuttinga won gold and Greg McKerihen won bronze. Richard Chong and Lukus Kiwilsza both took home bronze in the Landscape Gardening category, while Kevin DeOliveria won silver in Sheet Metal Work. Colin Hosokawa and Colin Dunlop took home gold and silver, respectively, in the Sprinkler System category; in Steamfitting, Kyle Horne and Dale Pearn were awarded gold and silver, respectively.

Schuttinga says he was glad to be able to compete and to walk away with a finished project.

“To be honest, I was just happy to complete the project,” says Schuttinga. “That was my goal—that if I could go there and complete this project in the time they give it I would be more than happy. The gold is just the bonus on the top.”

Camosun student Jake Schuttinga recently won a national gold medal at a Skills Canada competition (photo provided).

Camosun student Jake Schuttinga recently won a national gold medal at a Skills Canada competition (photo provided).

Camosun chair of Architectural Trades Al van Akker helped to prepare the students for the competition and also gave some advice to Schuttinga before the big event.

“I did work directly with Jake; I did a coaching session with him the week before he went,” says van Akker. “I spent a couple hours working with Jake to go over some of the more complex elements, and we devised some strategies for how he could do those.”

The competitors don’t go into Skills Canada events completely blind to what kind of project they will need to complete in the two days of competition: dimensionless plans of the project are provided to allow for preparation. Schuttinga says that definitely paid off.

“I did do some prep on the more complicated part and just went over the plans a lot,” says Schuttinga. “I just kind of went over it in my head, where I was going to start, and if this doesn’t work there what I could do next. It’s kind of planning ahead and thinking three steps ahead.”

Camosun’s van Akker had no doubt in Schuttinga’s ability to succeed, and he attributes some of Schuttinga’s success to Camosun’s dual-credit program.

“He is very capable, very fast, and he does good work,” says van Akker of Schuttinga. “I think that certainly one of the things contributing to his success is the fact that he is a recent graduate of the Camosun Carpentry Foundation program, and he was able to access that through the Accelerated Credit Enrolment in Industry Training program.”

Some of the finalists from the national competition will now have the opportunity to go to the 2017 World Skills General Assembly in Abu Dhabi. The 2017 national team prospects have been selected and will be announced soon.

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